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Steady Freddy: How coach got Brown ready to make sudden impact

Nathan Brown reckons Brad Fittler didn't give him many instructions before his debut in State of Origin II. 

"Just to go out there and be me," the Blues forward said.

The coach, known for being a calm, steadying influence in the intense Origin arena, clearly didn't need to provide much ammunition as Brown trampled Maroons hooker Jake Friend with a memorable first carry when he came off the bench in the second half.

"It all happened pretty fast. That first run, I just wanted to run as hard as I could and it made my job easier when I came on. The boys laid the platform," he said after Wednesday's 34-10 win at ANZ Stadium.

"It just comes back to being Nathan Brown. [I] don't try to be aggressive, because that's just how I play. Nathan Brown generally brings that aggression anyway, so he doesn't need to find it.

"That's the fine line."

The Parramatta lock only got 17 minutes of game time but certainly made an impression.

After sending Friend flying, he then faced off with the Queensland hooker and sparked a scuffle that resulted in Payne Haas and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui being sin-binned for throwing punches.

Brown, who admitted during the week that "the biff" was one of his favourite parts of watching Origin as a youngster, said the game lived up to his expectations in terms of speed.

"There was plenty of nerves and excitement pre-game. I'm just very grateful to be in this team full of talent," he said.

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"It was very fast. I was trying to soak it up ... It was awesome."

NSW's bench was enormous in Sydney and they'll be required to stand up again in next Wednesday's decider at Suncorp Stadium.

Dale Finucane, the most experienced of the four Blues forwards who started on the pine with three matches now to his name, recorded 123 metres from 13 runs in an immense 24-minute stint.

Finucane missed selection for game one. He'd battled a calf injury towards the end of the NRL season, returning strongly for the preliminary and grand finals, but said he was "not sure" whether workload concerns were why he was initially overlooked.

"But regardless that doesn't really matter to me,"" he said.

"I obviously got an opportunity to play [on Wednesday] and I'm really happy about that and particularly happy about the outcome, the way that we went about it and the way that we won."

ANZ Stadium has become a happy hunting ground for the Storm lock, whose club beat Penrith at the venue a few weeks ago to claim NRL glory. 

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"To be able to win a premiership was really exciting and then to be told I'd been named in the 27-man extended [Origin] squad was really good," he said.

"And then to get an opportunity tops it off in front of a home crowd."

Finucane praised his fellow interchange players - debutants Brown and Isaah Yeo and second-gamer Junior Paulo - but reiterated the starting pack, led by Haas and Daniel Saifiti, set the wheels in motion for the victory.

Haas posted 165 metres and 25 tackles while his front-row partner Saifiti recorded 127 metres and 21 tackles.

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"I think it shows at clubland what sort of players they are - Payne's the leader of the pack up there at the Broncos and he's been their most consistent player this year," Finucane said.

"Same with Dan Saifiti, he's gone to another level this year. He got his [NSW] opportunity in game two, Perth, last year and he's continued to improve and been a real forward leader in this side.

"The role of any bench is to play with energy ... Our bench really came on and made a good difference."

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